Best Thrifty Blog finalist: Awesome Austerity – My Dream

Morna Macneill’s super blog Awesome Austerity certainly is, as she calls it, “a blog about money-saving, parenting, crafting, baking and anything else I can think of.”  It’s one of the finalists in the Best Thrifty Blog category at the 2015 MAD (Mum and Dad) Blog Awards, held in September.

Experian is delighted to sponsor the Best Thrifty Blog award, which recognises the mum and dad bloggers helping people make savvy financial decisions every day.

morna's family-300We asked Mum of two Morna, a pathologist in her day job. to tell us what her greatest ambition would be if there were no restrictions. She writes for us here about a long-time dream she managed to realise.


When I was a young thing, I’m sure I could have reeled off a long list of fairly shallow dreams……I’d buy a horse, no, a whole stable, I’d travel the world, I’d engage a personal trainer so I could be really skinny and wear designer clothes.

If you offered me any of these things now I wouldn’t say no, but I probably wouldn’t go to much effort to acquire them either.  The dreams I have these days are much less exciting.  I’d like to be mortgage free and perhaps to have a car that doesn’t have mould on the backseat.

Throughout the whole of my adult life I dreamed of leaving the rat race, of running away to the remote Hebridean Island where I grew up and living a simple life.  Four years ago we decided to make this dream a reality.

Giving up a successful career in medicine to go and be self sufficient in the Hebrides takes some planning.  Staying at home instead of going abroad, choosing to DIY rather than pay a tradesperson, the beat up old Saab we drove when our friends had Audis and BMWs. Even our DIY wedding; every sacrifice we had made led to a small saving which would enable us to realise our dream.   We had been overpaying the mortgage for years, we hadn’t really known why but as we put our house on the market during a recession and realised we could actually afford to sell we finally realised the value of what we had done.  We even moved out of our flat four weeks early when I was heavily pregnant because that was what the buyer with the asking price offer wanted!

We did it!  We left the rat race behind and made the move. We realised our dream.

Perhaps dreams are just meant to be dreams though.  I missed the rat race.  After two years of the good life we packed up again and headed back to the city!

I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was nine and after two years of hard work I’ve ticked every box and I’m less than a year away from my first consultant job.  This hasn’t been easy.  We’ve chosen to live off just my salary so that my husband can be a full time dad to our two little girls.  We bought a lovely old house but didn’t leave ourselves enough ready cash to carry out the renovations. We’ve finally lost the 14 year old Saab but our sensible family saloon is still a far cry from the flashy vehicles of my colleagues.  But are we happy? Yes!

I have the career I’ve always wanted and my husband has two adoring little girls and more garden than he can shake a stick at.

I think age has taught me two things: the first is that you can make almost any dream a reality, with enough hard work and planning.  The second is that your dreams can change – something you have always dreamed of may not be right for you and, and that’s o.k. There’s no shame in going back to square one.  My dreams might seem commonplace or mundane but I feel like I’m living life my way and that’s my ultimate dream.

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